Category: Magnifying Lenses

Bionic Glasses

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---- PROTOTYPE --------- PURPOSE: To create a prototype of normal-looking pair of glasses to enhance vision for individuals with certain types of low vision using similar technology developed for mobile phones and gaming. Exhibited at the Summer Science Exhibition in Oxford, England, the Bionic Glasses enhance vision for individuals who are blind or have little to no vision left. The glasses are appropriate for common types of visual impairment such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. The Bionic Glasses have video cameras mounted at the corners to capture what the wearer is looking at, while a display of tiny lights embedded in the see-through lenses of the glasses provide additional feedback about objects, people or obstacles in view. The glasses work in combination with a smartphone-type computer running in the user’s pocket, which recognizes objects in the video image or tracks where a person is, driving the lights in the display in real time. The additional information provided by the glasses regarding the surrounding environment allows the user to navigate around a room, pick out the most relevant items, and locate objects placed nearby. The glasses allow the user to maintain eye contact with other individuals. Adding different light colors to distinguish between different types of information or people can assist the user to recognize different individuals and important objects; additionally, varying levels of brightness can be used to determine the proximity of objects in the environment. This technology may evolve to include optical character recognition allowing users to hear descriptions of images and for text to be read back to the user through earphones attached to the glasses. Further uses include physiotherapy where the glasses would be tailored for individuals, their vision, and their needs. AUTHOR: Jonathan Wood. TITLE: Bionic glasses for poor vision. WEBSITE: University of Oxford—Science Blog. REF:


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